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Broad-Banded Copperhead
(Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus)


Broad-Banded Copperheads are found in central Texas, south-central Kansas and central Oklahoma. Their habitats range from prairies, wooded bottomlands, rocky areas, desert & coastal plains, and even mountain elevations of more than 6000 feet. These snakes can also be found in backyards in subdivisions.

They can be identified by their rich copper-penny colors with wide alternating bands that extend completely around even the underside. These snakes are well camouflaged in their natural surroundings. They commonly have a turquoise or greenish-gray color on the tip of the tail.

Copperheads are typically docile snakes and only become dangerous if they are disturbed or agitated. They will strike defensively and emit a fine spray of musk from glands located near the opening of the cloacae. If the snake is highly alarmed it may vibrate its tail as a sign of stress. Their tails do not have rattles; however, can simulate the sound of one when it shakes in leaves & other debris.

In the spring when warm weather begins to arrive Copperheads will begin leaving their dens in search of food and mates. During this time, they are active day and night. In the summer when temperatures rise, they become predominantly nocturnal or completely inactive.

Like many other species of pit vipers, Copperheads have heat sensing facial pits and when combined with chemosensory cues they are used in locating their prey. Copperheads are documented as being active hunters and have been known to climb shrubs and bushes in search of prey. Their diet consists of insects; caterpillars, grasshoppers, spiders, millipedes, frogs, salamanders, lizards, box turtles, skinks, Ring neck snakes, birds, voles, mice, and rats. They will use the tip of their tail that is typically a bright yellow to entice prey. They hold their tail in the air elevated above their heads while the tail wiggles like a worm. This luring action is helpful in getting their prey within striking distance.



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Southern Copperhead
(Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix)


The Southern Copperhead can typically be found in eastern Texas. This snake is easily distinguished from other subspecies by having a base coloration of pale tan to a pinkish-beige with narrow brown crossbars. The tip of the tail is pinkish or greenish yellow. This subspecies is the greatest in length among Copperheads and has been documented to reach 52 inches in length. One of three Copperheads found in Texas, yet easily identified from the others due to their size, color & pattern variation.



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Trans-Pecos Copperhead
(Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster)


Trans-Pecos Copperheads are typically found in west Texas.
They have a dark chestnut to almost black ventral surface color, which contrast against their paler areas and extends down to the dorsal ground color along with their brownish cross-bands. One of three Copperheads found in Texas, they are uniquely marked and easily identified.